With so many companies adapting their workforce to being fully remote or at least a hybrid model, employees have definitely seen the benefits; no commute, no open space noise, and no one stopping by resulting in minimal interrupting. However, many employers and managers have run into the challenge of managing remote teams in the past year, resulting in feeling disconnected from their teams and running into communication issues. Successfully managing a distributed or virtual team takes time, patience and a lot of practice, but with the right processes and tools in place, it’s possible to have a productive and engaged fully remote team.
Set Clear Expectations
When transitioning to a fully remote team, it’s important for managers to set clear guidelines and expectations for employees. While some team members may have prior experience of working remotely, others may be completely new to working away from the office. To avoid confusion and anxiety, ensure to set clear and realistic expectations to guide your team towards successful remote working including:
- What tools your team will use
- How you will communicate
- What hours you expect the team to work
- How and when projects will be completed
- Measurable KPI’s
Use Suitable Online Communication Tools
Staying connected is crucial for every team, but it’s more difficult for a virtual office. Finding the right tools for communication is crucial to help your remote team meet the expectations you have set out for them, and make their workday run more smoothly. There are hundreds of tools, apps and software products available for you and your team:
- Video conferencing tools; Zoom, Microsoft teams
- Chat apps: Slack, Google Hangouts
- Task Management: Asana, Wrike, ClickUp, Monday.com
Do your research in order to find the tools that will work best for you and your team.
Host Regular One-to-One and Team Meetings
Constant communication is the key to keeping your remote team productive and engaged. Planning regular team meetings for early in the week allows you and your team to discuss and assign tasks effectively, address obstacles the team members are facing, and set goals for the team and company. While 1:1 meetings can be time consuming, (especially for a larger team), they still play a critical role in engaging with employees, allowing them to discuss issues, ask questions or give suggestions that they may not feel comfortable talking about in a group setting.
Find the Right People
Working remotely is not for everyone, and Since you will not be able to constantly check-in on each remote team member, you need to find individuals that you can trust and are comfortable working on their own. Your task as a manager is to find those who enjoy remote work and understand its speciality. Having a few years of experience as a freelancer or home office employee is definitely a good sign when considering who to hire.
With NoCo, you have the opportunity to give your team flexibility and time back in their day, while also giving you the ability to access a new talent pool and keep your current team happy by providing an appropriate work environment closer to home.